Senior JD(U) leader and former Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary today resigned from the party.
Chaudhary cited “demoralisation of cadre” and patronage to “dhankuber” as the major reasons behind his resignation from the ruling party of Bihar.
Downplaying the resignation of Chaudhary, the ruling JD(U) said that the “coming or going of anybody did not affect the party”.
65-year-old Chaudhary was not happy with the party leadership ever since Nitish Kumar returned to the BJP-led NDA fold.
The former Speaker alleged that that his decision to quit the party followed “a spurt in atrocities against Dalits and crimes against women”.
“I have nurtured the JD(U) over the last 20 years. But I have been aghast at the party’s deviation from its core principles and commitment to the welfare of the downtrodden. There has been a spurt in atrocities against Dalits and women, the latest incident being the molestation of a girl in Jehanabad,” Chaudhary told media perrsons in Patna.
“The party cadre, especially the dedicated workers, is getting demoralised while the dhankuber (those with deep pockets) are being promoted. In view of these things I have decided to give up my primary membership of the party,” he added.
Chaudhary, however, did not give any hint about his future course of action.
Political observers point out that he has been unhappy over not being given any significant position after the formation of JD(U)-BJP government in Bihar.
Of late, Chaudhary has been openly critical of the party line and seen hobnobbing with those in the opposition camp.
He was seen sharing the stage with former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha at a meeting of the Rashtra Manch here last month, where the latter announced his decision to quit the party in the presence of leaders like RJD heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav.
Often referred to as the Dalit face of the JD(U), Chaudhary yesterday joined a rally, organised by social organisations from the historic Gandhi Maidan to the Raj Bhavan to protest against the recent Supreme Court judgment on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
On occasions, he also supported RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, who is serving jail sentence in fodder scam cases, much to the embarrassment of his own party.
Rubbishing Chaudhary’s allegations, JD(U) deputy leader in the state Assembly, Shyam Rajak, said “there has been no upeksha (indifference) towards Dalits and women. The government has been working in accordance with the apkesha (expectations) of these segments.”
Rajak, a Dalit leader himself, asserted that Chaudhary might have made the decision because of personal reasons.
(With PTI inputs)